Savannah, GA- Money can be a major issue in divorce. It can cause a breakdown in a couple’s relationship and it can become a very acrimonious issue in divorce. Sometimes one spouse, angry with the other over their break-up may take steps to keep their estranged spouse from getting any of their money. This means they may go to extraordinary steps to hide their financial assets and debts. But doing so has consequences.

In a previous study, the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 31 percent of the married couples they surveyed hid assets, purchases and debts from their spouse while in the middle of their divorce. And 34 percent said they lied to their spouses about their finances.

When a couple files for divorce in Georgia, they are required to sign a Financial Affidavit in which they are supposed to disclose their financial assets, including property, stock options, income and expenses. Signing this document means both spouses are fully disclosing their finances under the penalty of perjury which can carry a

But in all likelihood, hiding assets from a spouse won’t lead to criminal consequences, instead, it will have financial consequences. The very one spouse was hoping to avoid by not being honest about their finances. A judge can order a spouse, who tried to hide their assets, to pay attorney fees, other divorce-related costs or have their divorce demands dismissed.

If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, you need to contact a divorce law firm in Savannah immediately to investigate your claims. They have the necessary resources and experience to find out if your spouse is in fact hiding assets. Your divorce attorney will work hard to ensure you aren’t cheated in your final divorce settlement.

There are a number of ways one spouse might hide assets from their estranged spouse. One of the most common was is to establish a LLC or other type of company and purchase property and other assets under that company’s name. Family members and friend can also be enlisted to pose as straw purchasers so that your spouse’s name may never appear on the company name and the paper trail may be very hard to trace back to your spouse.

A spouse who owns their own business can also hide assets by paying non-existent employees through the company. Or, they can fail to record business receipts or overestimate business expenses and pocket the rest. Those are just a few ways to hide assets. A clever spouse can easily come up with other ways to keep the spouse they divorcing from getting the settlement they deserve.

It’s important that if you believe your spouse is being dishonest about their finances that you speak with a Georgia divorce attorney so they can look into your claims. Divorce law firms are well-aware that people hide their assets and are capable of investigating your claims so you get a divorce settlement that is fair and reflects your contribution to your marriage.